Equestrian team to compete in NCAA

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    TCU is jumping at the bit to start its new equestrian team.TCU will be adding an equestrian team to its list of NCAA-sanctioned sports next year, said Marcy Girton, associate athletics director.

    Girton said the staff is aiming to start practices in fall 2006. Although Girton was unsure how many students had already expressed interest in the program, sophomore advertising/public relations major Jennifer Currie, who is working with the team’s development, said early outreach has been promising.

    “There’s been about 15 to 20 people, maybe a few more,” Currie said.

    Once the competitive season starts, TCU will be attending tournaments fielding teams from schools like Southern Methodist University, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Kansas State. There are currently 23 teams nationwide in both Division I and II institutions.

    Girton said the next step of the building process, hiring a head coach, will begin Feb. 15, when administration begins taking applications.

    Currie said tournaments will cover multiple types of riding.

    “What will happen is we will either go to a western or an English show,” Currie said, “then we’ll draw a name from the school’s horses and ride that horse to display our skills.”

    Currie said the school will eventually have its own horse stock to ride from.

    Currie said she had tried to start a club team at TCU previously, but said seeing the school adopt equestrian as an NCAA-sanctioned sport has been a much different process.

    “The difference is with the club, I would have had to run it and the sponsor would have helped with the paperwork,” Currie said. “The NCAA will have horses and it will be run by the school.